Tigers return to practice

LSU returned to the practice field on Monday in preparation for its bowl date against Iowa. Les Miles met with the media following the team's workouts to provide an update on the Tigers heading into the final stretch of the season.

With the academic semester completed, LSU returned to practice Monday in preparation for its Outback Bowl date against Iowa.

Les Miles met with the media after the team finished workouts to provide an update on his team's motivation heading into the final stretch of the 2013 season.

"If they don't get fired up about playing in a quality bowl game against an opponent like Iowa, there's something wrong with them," Miles said. "They're not getting that from me, I promise you. They're going to have to fight. It's exactly what we need, to end the season with a big challenge."

Miles didn't go into specifics on injuries, but he said that everyone he expected to practice did participate. One obvious exception is Zach Mettenberger, who's recovering from a still undisclosed knee injury.

That's left true freshman Anthony Jennings getting first-team reps for the first time in his LSU career. Miles said he they haven't had to change the playbook for the young signal caller.

"Anthony had a good practice today," Miles said. "The one thing about it is he's getting more reps and he's going to come of age very quickly…The good news is that it's the postseason and we've had this second-team quarterback that's gotten a lot of reps anyway. It's really been a whole season and we get 12 practices where we can focus on him. We expect to see him play well."

Miles has had some time in the last couple weeks to start examining the Hawkeyes more closely. Miles said one of the big things that's jumped out to him is the Iowa defense that allowed just 303.2 total yards of offense this season.

He said that should provide an interesting challenge of strength vs. strength compared to the high-powered LSU offense.

"They're guys that really know football," Miles said. "They're always in the right spot. They read their keys extremely well, very disciplined. I really enjoy their defense. You can see why. They tackle well, they're physical, a very quality Big 10 defense."

As for an off-the-field storyline, Miles did say he's met with some of the underclassmen that are considering a jump to the NFL. Miles didn't divulge which one's he's met with, but he did say the decisions of last year's early departures won't play a factor for this year's group.

"Our guys are going to be confronted with similar decisions, and there's a likelihood that there'll be a greater reception to staying," Miles said. "It's a quality academic, team and business decision. Some guys are going to go, and it makes great sense. Some guys are not, and it makes great sense too."


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